Heroes Among Us: Nick Smarr & Jody Smith
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - WALB and Montlick and Associates would like to recognize the Heroes Among Us.
Each month, we will spotlight an active duty man or woman, a veteran, or a fallen hero whose service to our country goes beyond the battleground.
This month, we honor fallen police officers Nick Smarr and Jody Smith.
Smarr served in the Marine Reserves, and both men left a legacy on this earth, saving lives with their final breaths.
"I couldn't have ever asked for a better child than Nick," explained Janice Smarr, Americus Police Officer Nick Smarr's mother.
She said she has always described her son Nick as "her angel."
"Nick had a heart of gold. Nick cared about other people," she said.
That title became that much more real after Smarr’s death in the line of duty on December 7th, 2016, when he was shot and killed alongside his best friend Georgia Southwestern State University Campus Police Officer Jody Smith.
Smith responded to back up his buddy on a domestic call.
Soon after, Smarr gained another title.
"I raised a hero," his mother said.
For many, the word exemplifies the actions Smarr took in his dying moments.
While chasing the suspect, Smith was shot moments before Smarr.
Body camera footage revealed the heroism Smarr displayed.
"He was there for Jody, and he kept telling him, 'I got you man. I got you," Sharron Johnson, Officer Smith's mother, explained to WALB in December of 2017.
The footage revealed to investigators that an injured Smarr headed straight to his best friend, Smith.
Smarr rolled Smith over, and performed CPR on him until Smarr took his last breath.
"When somebody doesn't care about their own self to look after their best friend, to me, that's a hero," Janice explained. "Today, Nick might would have been alive if he could have just laid down and been still, but Nick couldn't do that. He couldn't leave Jody."
"Nick died on top of Jody," Johnson explained. "These two buddies, laying there on that ground, dying."
Smith, displayed an act of heroism himself.
"His willingness to be an organ donor shows what kind of person he was," explained Americus Police Chief Mark Scott.
The heroic chain reaction was made possible because Smarr kept Smith alive long enough to make it to the hospital and donate his organs, saving multiple lives.
"That's the kind of Marine (Smarr) was, and the kind of officer that he was and the kind of person he was," Chief Scott said.
The U.S. Marine Corps agreed.
Smarr served two years in the Marine Reserves.
Two years to the day after his death, on December 7, 2018, Smarr posthumously received the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps medal: the highest non-combat award for a Marine who displays an act of heroism.
"I think there's very few people in this world that'd do what he did," Smarr's mother said.
Along with the way they lived their lives, their last actions help keep the memory of the two alive, through the good work they've done to help others.
"Jody saved lives, too," Smarr's mom explained. "Nick saved Jody, and Jody saved others. That's what you call love."
Chief Scott told WALB that plans are in the works for the city to build a law enforcement memorial in front of the police department. He said the city has already received its first donation for the memorial.
If you would like to nominate your military hero to be featured on ‘Heroes Among Us’ on WALB ABC, click here.
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